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Bill Maher is Emmy's biggest loser — bigger than ever

September 20, 2009 |  7:42 pm

Bill maher emmys

For the last few years, Bill Maher has reigned as Emmy's biggest loser, but now he just increased his losing streak with the defeat of "Real Time" to "The Daily Show" for best variety series. Maher is a producer, so he shares in his show's latest Emmy defeat. He's now lost 22 times without a win.

Bill Maher's Emmy snubs date back to a 1995 nod for "Politically Incorrect" as outstanding variety, music or comedy series. ("The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" won that year for the only time.) Maher's ABC show brought him 11 nominations in total – producing (eight), writing (two) and hosting (one).

As Maher's losses are mostly for producing and writing, Angela Lansbury's record of 18 losses as a performer remains safe for some time. Last September, Bill Maher told Gold Derby that he's cool with being the biggest loser of TV's top award. We huddled up at the Toronto International Film Festival last year to discuss his documentary "Religulous."

At the time of the interview, he had 19 past defeats at the Emmys. You can tell from watching our discussion of this topic with "Religulous" director Larry Charles (a two-time Emmy winner for "Seinfeld") that Maher is, underneath it all, at least a bit irked. Note that Maher mentions that his Emmy losing streak might not matter if he wins an Oscar for "Religulous" as best documentary. But uh oh — he was snubbed by the motion picture academy. 

Below is the portion of our chat in which I ambushed Maher to get his view of his Emmy fate. In the past, whenever I had submitted a formal request to interview him on the subject, it had been ignored. So I decided to seize this opportunity while being granted time with him to discuss "Religulous." Normally, it's Maher who puts people in the hot spot. Oh, what fun it was to do so to him!

Photo: HBO

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Your are article is certainly a waste of space! You say Maher is a loser, well you are the biggest loser writing about this so called "loser". At least he has the guts to stand up and speak his mind ... and please find something better to write about....

I guess this writer's glass is always half-empty?

If I didn't like my own comment below, I might point out that apparently I can't even spell "surprise." Oops, hasty posting...

You definitely give yourself too much credit - not even close to an ambush. Now if you would have produced surprize guests such as Jesus, Allah, Krishna, etc, or shown George Bush solving a trigonometry problem -THAT- would have been an ambush! Bill Maher is controversial and says things that piss some people off, while keeping some of us extremely entertained & at least slightly hopeful. I don't know if it's the stuff Emmy's are made of, but clearly the number of nominations he's received indicate that it would be if the Emmy committee had any balls.

You know what Bill is thinking: "At least I'm not as much of a loser as this guy."

First of all, it does not even remotely look like you ambushed him. He wasn't surprised at all and remained calm throughout. Next, you want to put him down by saying he was a "bit" irked, but he was smiling throughout the response that he might even lose it for the 21st time. By the way, you can even come up with one counter-point against his reasoning for not getting the Emmy award except that "you are the biggest loser". It is you who is a "bit" irked that you weren't able to put him in the hot spot.

that headline needs some serious editing. "Bill Maher is..... loser" would suffice.



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